This story was written to summarize a recent evening during which a Corillian customer had planned a migration of their online banking system. I was asked to assist in the migration and show up at the front gate as scheduled at around 10pm.
It's late in the evening, well past dark, and I'm sitting in my rental car waiting for someone to show up at the bank campus's closed security gate to let me in to the campus for another allnight conversion project. Because it's a weekend and late at night, the entire campus, several square miles of 4 story buildings surrounded by landscaping and ponds is locked down tight. There is no traffic and almost no cars at all inside the campus.
The original plan had been to just show up to Building N and call Arky, a Corillian Technical Account Manager, so that he'd come down and open the locked doors and let me in. But with the outside gates being closed tight, I didn't quite make it that far and was now sitting at the security gate outside the entrance to the large campus here in Columbus, Ohio.
I had just called Arky and told him I was here and waiting at the gate, could he please come and let me in.
"Mate, be there in two ticks." Arky said in his unique accent of 90% Australian with 10% Greek thrown in for good measure. I had been a victim of Arky's driving habits in the past and knew that based on what I had experienced (and was still recovering from) it would take less than one tick for him to drive to the gate. You see, he drives a low slung, black, fast BMW. When I say drives, I mean he pushes that poor thing to give it's all and then some. Very seldom does he pull away from a stop without laying at least a decent patch in the road. One recent lunchtime outing, as Arky drove Riley Taylor, a Corillian engineer, and myself back to the customer's campus, he was telling us about why he couldn't understand the lack of durability in today's automobiles, He launched into a wheel spinning burnout which left enough rubber on the road to make wetsuits for every member of Corillian. All with a contagious high pitch giggle as he watched Riley and I dig our fingernails deep into the pliable sCorinthian leather of the BMW's upholstery.
"Ah, that's nothing." he quipped, half way through the burnout, "I've been through 14 rear ends in my Porsche. In fact, it's in the shop now!"
You quietly thank your elders that his Porsche is not currently running.
Back at the security gate, I hear the crickets and frogs which live in one of the many large ponds which dot the bank's lush campus. Suddenly, the quiet Ohio night sounds much like the opening hour of the Indy 500 as I hear Arky, still far away, pulling out of the parking structure in the middle of a four wheel drift at high speed.
I see his headlights bobbing as he races through the gears on his approach. The BMW four wheel drifts around the corner and pulls into a full lockup skid in order to stop just short of the security gate. Arky pops out, all smiles, gives a wave, sweeps his security card across the security card reader and instructs me to follow him back to the parking structure. He hops back in his car in perfect 007 fashion, cranks up the stereo, and thankfully pulls on his seatbelt.
Twisting the key in the ignition of my little rental car and can't help but feel a little let down as the 4 cylinder engine putt-putts to life reluctantly. I throw her into gear as Arky mashes on the accelerator and smokes his tires in a full speed reverse out into the main drive circling the campus. He just barely misses a large white security truck with a flashing light on the top as it pulls up to investigate us and the racket that he's heard. With a cavalier nod to the uniformed guard, Arky pops the car into gear and veers around the security guard as he struggles to get out of the truck.
As Arky's lights fade in the distance I realize that I'd better stick close to him or I won't get into the customer's building through their cardkey security entrance.
The guard looks from Arky's car toward me and starts walking over. I give a sympathetic shrug to the approaching guard and ease my rental car under the gate and after Arky. The poor guard, twice jilted, gives me a pitiful look and puts his hands on his hips as I leave.
Arky is heading over to the parking garage at about 70, I'm struggling to catch up in my rental car, and the bloody guard is struggling to get back up into his truck. It's not likely he's been part of a chase for as long as he can remember (at his age that might be a day or two) and he's a bit worked up about the prospect of catching a couple of high tech crooks. I pull into the garage and park next to Arky. We both begin our walk over to the building as the guard pulls into the drive between us and the door. We both walk around the truck and directly toward the guard as he stands (again with his hands on his hips) expectantly beside his truck. His practiced sneer slowly transforms into a look of amazement as he realizes that we have no intention of stopping to hear his sermon. "Hey! You guys! Where you going?" His voice is borderline whining now as it becomes apparent that his authority has little to no impact on either Arky or myself.
"You both will have to come with me to sign into the security office before I can let you in here!"
Arky walks quickly back to the guard and addresses him in a tone usually reserved for grade school children and poodles. "Listen, I'm gonna ring upstairs to the fourth floor where at least 17 Bank VP's are waiting for us to show up and finish a data migration worth millions of dollars to the bank, and I'm going to tell them that you, what was your name anyway, won't let us get up there and get the work done. Is there anything else that you want me to tell them before I ring?"
"No, no, that's okay", the guard mutters as we walk away. "But next time you need to sign in."
"Yeah, yeah! No worries!" hollers Arky over his shoulder, giving me a quick grin and shrug. "Follow me Brent, let's get to work."
Somewhere in the world today there's a security guard seriously considering a career change.